Entertainment & Arts

Black Sabbath Bill Ward drummer delays band reunion

Black Sabbath in 1989
Image caption Bill Ward (top left) said he has been left feeling "lousy and lonely"

Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward has threatened to pull out of the band's reunion, unless he is presented with a "signable contract".

In a letter posted on his website , the musician said he has been feeling "ostracised".

The 63-year-old added that he wants a contract that "reflects some dignity and respect toward me as an original member of the band."

In November, the group, led by Ozzy Osbourne, announced they would reunite.

They confirmed they would play the Download Festival in June, before embarking on a world tour.

But last month, guitarist Tony Iommi revealed he was receiving treatment for cancer after being diagnosed with lymphoma.

Ward said that due to Iommi's illness, it had been decided that the band would move production to the UK.

"I've tried to find out what's going on with the UK sessions, I've realised that I've been getting 'the cold shoulder' (and, I might add, not for the first time).

"Feeling somewhat ostracised, my guess is as of today, I will know nothing of what's happening unless I sign 'the unsignable contract'."

The drummer said he had been left feeling "lousy and lonely", but was refusing to sign the current contract because he stands to lose "my rights, dignity and respectability as a rock musician".

Ward acknowledged there was a possibility that he would be replaced over this and he asked fans not to hold him "responsible for the failure of an original Black Sabbath lineup as promoted".

The rest of the band have yet to comment on Ward's claims.

It is not the first time Ward has criticised Black Sabbath's management team.

In 2004, Osbourne's wife Sharon announced that Faith No More's Mike Bordin would replace the drummer on the Ozzfest tour.

However, the two parties eventually came to an agreement before the tour, and Ward did participate.

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